The other day I was shopping in Target and I saw a mom with her two sons, who were probably about 10 and 6 years old. The 10 year old had asked for a new toothbrush before they went away on vacation, so the mom was standing in front of the toothbrushes, helping the older boy pick out a new one. The younger boy was by the cart and apparently bored.
“Mom,” the younger boy said, “I can tell you the price of all the things we’ve gotten so far.”
“Oh yeah?” Mom said, “How much is everything all added together?”
“$13.56 will be the price of all the stuff we’re getting.”
“Did you remember to add tax?” the mom asked.
“Mom, I don’t *do* tax!” the boy answered.
“Well, you’d better...” the mom said, “The government will charge taxes on everything we buy, Target does tax, therefore I have to pay tax on the stuff in the cart, so please remember to add the tax into your calculations. Tax is very important to remember!”
I wonder if the little guy was paying for the cartful of stuff with his allowance money or something. All in all, I thought it was such a funny discussion for a mom and a 6 year old kid.
It reminded me of when I was in high school and I would shop with my mom. When we would shop the sale racks, our deal was that she would buy me things on sale if I could figure out what the markdown price would be. When the sign would say 30% off and the marked price was $49.99, if I could tell her the markdown price would be $34.99, then I could have it. I suppose it was a good way for my mom to make me practice math when we were out shopping. She was probably going to buy me whatever it was anyway, but I always thought I had to do the math. Good thing I knew how to figure it out! And that was definitely a more fun way to learn percentages than figuring out Connecticut’s 6% sales tax at the ripe old age of 6...